How Changing Technology Shapes how we Consume Sports and Sports Journalism


The world of sport and sports journalism is constantly changing over time, and the use of modern technologies is one of the areas that have significantly impacted a wide range of sports in the contemporary times. Just as the television sets altered how families interacted with sport in the 1950s, so have the changing technologies presented fans with yet another way to consume sport. The internet, one of the modern technologies, has presented sports fans with virtual accessibility to sport activities in real time and on the ultimatum, and has allowed them to establish personal, precise ways of interaction. In the year 2009, 3 out of every 4 homes had admittance to the internet, which is a trend that has increased over the years. The justification of this research is to provide a persuasive discussion that will demonstrate how the changing technology has transformed the way people consume sports and sports journalism.    

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Technology has Improved Recording and Replay

In earlier times, the commercial model for television had been to schedule events and programs at specific times, whereby they expected a mass audience to watch them. However, new technological developments have allowed people to record and replay any program, including sport, and watch it at their convenience. The plethora of cable networks specialized in sports packages, and networks have also contributed to the dispersion of the television sports audiences.[1] While some people utilize the web to supplement televised sports accounts, to others, the internet has turned out to be the primary source for sports news and other news in general. In fact, various sites such as MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as blogs, have opened opportunities for sports broadcast and discussions.[2] On the one hand, individuals against the use of technology in how people consume sport and sports journalism argue that application of technological advancement in game slows down the game speed. However, others think that technology has had a wide range of advantages. Changing technology has positively changed the way we consume sport. Indeed, it makes watching sport more enjoyable and offers a platform where fans can see the correct decisions made, scrutinize their validity, and give their judgement.

Development of the Internet

Technology has changed the way individuals consume and enjoy sport. Various technological advancements, such as the internet, have slowly but surely altered the way people consume sport. In fact, the internet has done to television broadcasting what it did to radio broadcasting more than five decades ago. During the early 1990s, when the internet was introduced, most people preferred watching games on television instead of online media. This was because during this time, the web was generally viewed as primitive as it lacked the potential to streamline or restructure live video clips. The dial-up facilities also failed to provide the speed required to process large quantities of data. Moreover, during this time, computers had reduced processing abilities, and the quality of the videos was poor as compared to that of television sets.[3] A person who was a sports fan back in the early 1990s can bear witness that they watched episodes and events on large, high resolving colored television sets, and should anyone find the need to record the event, they were forced to use a home video system. With time, business models were utilized by various television networks and have not experienced much change over the last six decades. Even to date, the sports news is scheduled at particular times every day, and the television networks expect audiences to view them together with the ads. Nowadays, thanks to technological advertisements, people do not have to restrict themselves to televisions to watch these events. Indeed, technological advancements have introduced high-speed broadband internet and video-streaming places; for instance, the YouTube, where individuals watch sport online.[4] In early 2000, this was done on computers, but smartphones are currently taking over at an alarming pace.

Enhanced the Proliferation of the Social Media

The technology has changed the way people enjoy the sports and altered how fellow fans and sports journalists interact. Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and other social sites have become centers where fans of sport meet, interact and discuss scores, events and athletes.[5] In fact, other sites give opportunities to fans to bet on the outcome of a certain sport, such as football. In addition, sports fans use the wide range of social sites, for instance the, YouTube, to post video clips and to give their opinions, views, and thoughts concerning sports events while “mashing up” where they connect sports footage from different events. Fans who have joined the various social sites such as twitter can post tweets or updates, which are reflected in their follower’s profile or people added in their profiles. In our current times, twitter and other social site have become easily accessible from nearly all devices that have the ability to connect to the internet.[6]

Technology has Enabled Fans to have their Say in Games’ Dynamics

Many people have argued that technology has been a source of disruption. In fact, the sports fans have found platforms where they express their positive or negative feelings of a match, which can have negative impacts on event organizers and players. When fans feel cheated, they angrily air their opinions across the wide range of social media, which can cause mayhem, especially during the sports sessions. Not only does technology have a positive impact, but also, during such times, it can have a direct impact on how game is run, such as in slowing down the speed of a sporting event.

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However, technology has changed the dialogue, making the sport experiences a two-way traffic. Increasingly, fans now have access to social hubs that present them with a platform to interact with athletes directly and even the organizers of sports events. Similarly, people who head sporting organizations have been presented with opportunities to connect and communicate with fans in an open and a human dialogue manner.[7] The dialogue between fans, athletes, and event organizers is now creating new opportunities to understand the opinion of fans, which are literally shaping how sports business is operated.

More Engagement to the other Media Platforms

Another possible change brought about by technological advancements is the promotion of journalist’s engagements on other media platforms. Nowadays, it has become possible to compose a developed story in a few lines,, such as in Twitter, where only 140 characters are used. The characters can be used to direct people using the social media to longer stories as well as images on a website, newspaper, and even in television sets.[8] Some online sites have been based on individualized brands that assist sports journalists in representing and spreading the news. Sports journalists have an opportunity to bran their work, and various sites can help them spread the news. In fact, social media have presented the sports sector, including sports organizers and sports journalism, with great opportunities to expand. They can now reach huge numbers of audiences that were initially difficult to reach and engage.

Online media users feel that it has become expensive to maintain websites while keeping constant updates. They argue that “pushing” content meant to inform sports fans of upcoming events or sports outcomes has become a difficult venture, especially for small organizations that use online sites as their online presence. Although it can be an expensive venture for sports journalists and other small clubs to maintain and update content through some websites, other online sites are real efficiencies and cost saving.[9] Rather than having a website, they can use other cheap and affordable sites, such as creating a page on Facebook that can be updated more easily, quick and efficient and enables users to “push” data to their members more easily and on a regular basis.

Indeed, with the greater access to internet connectivity through various devices such as smartphones, laptops, and iPad, among others, there is the immediacy of not only sharing data, but also producing it across space and distance. In fact, the use of social media has made it possible for individuals, sports journalists, and sports organizations and clubs stretch to new markets and develop wider and broader fan bases, which is attributable to technological advancements.

Technology has Improved Ease of Information Access

Technology has made individuals enjoy more money, time, and space, which is no different with sports news. Sports fans are expecting sports news on an as-it-happens-foundation, and as technology advances, general news and sports news are readily obtained. Not long ago, audiences would have to wait until the following day in order to peruse the newspaper to grasp news on events and sports matches. For those who were lucky to own a television set in their homes, then they had to wait until the evening news broadcast to find out the outcome or the number of scores of sports matches.

Through the huge collection of platforms, fans can access the scores, watch a match, and even view post-sport comments and reports, as well as watch video highlights and every other imaginable statistic in a brink of an eye or as soon as the final whistle of a match if brown. This is a clear evidence of how the digital era has taken over the traditional sports media. Nevertheless, what impact does it have on the sports journalists and sports journalism? Certainly, technology is presenting sports broadcasting studio with constant challenges. Not only does the digital era presented significant financial effects to the traditional media and print media, to be specific, but it has also created significant challenges on sports journalists as they now have to use a wide variety of skills.[10]

Today, sports consumers are not satisfied consuming news on only one media platform. They look for more news on a particular topic in all available platforms. This includes the websites, blogs, social networking sites, newsprint, fan-based websites, other dedicated sport radio stations, and television channels. The choice of when and where fans can access sports news and event updates has never been greater. One of the challenges of sports journalism is ensuring there is consistent, accurate, and up to date information on all the platforms that sports fans are on, while maintaining high journalistic standards and work ethics. As the consumer’s habits change, so do sports journalism and sports organizations.[11] We are in a chronological epoch characterized by digital technologies forcing developments in how we consume sport and sports reporting. Nevertheless, the traditional means of sports journalism are being sustained and improved to march the huge rivalry presented by digital reporting.  


As the world of sport continually changes due to technological advancements, so does how we consume sport and in a sports journalism realm. Indeed, for many people, technology has improved the interaction between people and the sports, making the events more enjoyable, especially when they can see the correct decisions being made. On the other hand, technology can slow down the game, especially when sports fans feel that they are being cheated or the decisions made are not fair. Despite having negative impacts on sport and sports journalism, technology has numerous benefits, which has enabled people to interact across space and distance on sports experiences. In addition, technology advancement has promoted journalists engagements on media platforms, and has completely altered how fans, sports organizers, and journalists interact. As it seems, the future of sport and sports journalism may indeed be digitalized. Therefore, traditional sports journalists and organizers should adapt quickly to the new technological environment that creates a fantastic degree of communication and interaction between athletes, their fans, event organizers, and sports journalists.



Ahmad, A.N., 2010. Is Twitter a useful tool for journalists? Journal of Media Practice, 11 (2), 145-154 

Boyle, R. (2007) Sports journalism and communication: challenges and opportunities in the digital media age. In: Asia Communication and Media Forum. Beijing, China.

Crawford, G. 2004. Consuming sport: fans, sport and culture. International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, no. November: 124-140. 

Gibbs, Chris, and Richard Haynes. 2013. A Phenomenological Investigation Into How Twitter Has Changed the Nature of Sports Media Relations. International Journal of Sports Communication, no. 6: 394-408.

Hutchins, B., 2011. The Acceleration of Media Sports Culture; Information, Communication & Society, 14 (2), 237-257

Shilbury, David. 2000. Considering Future Sport Delivery Systems. Sport Management Review 3, no. 2: 199-221.

[1] David, Shilbury. Considering Future Sport Delivery Systems. Sport Management Review 3, no. 2, (2000): 199.

[2] Ahmad, A.N. Is Twitter a useful tool for journalists? Journal of Media Practice, 11 (2), (2010): 145

[3] Hutchins, B. The Acceleration of Media Sport Culture; Information, Communication & Society, 14 (2), (2011): 237

[4] Hutchins, B. The Acceleration of Media Sport Culture; Information, Communication & Society, 14 (2), (2011): 240.

[5] Ahmad, A.N. Is Twitter a useful tool for journalists? Journal of Media Practice, 11 (2), (2010): 146. 

[6] Ibid., 150.

[7] David, Shilbury. Considering Future Sport Delivery Systems. Sport Management Review 3, no. 2: (2000): 200.

[8] Chris, Gibbs and Haynes Richard.  A Phenomenological Investigation Into How Twitter Has Changed the Nature of Sport Media Relations. International Journal of Sport Communication, no. 6 (2013): 400.

[9] Crawford, G. Consuming sport: fans, sport and culture. International Journal of

Sport Marketing & Sponsorship, no. November 2004: 124. [10] Boyle, R. Sports journalism and communication: challenges and opportunities in the digital media age. In: Asia Communication and Media Forum. (Beijing: China, 2007): 20.

[11] Crawford, G.. Consuming sport: fans, sport and culture. International Journal of Sport Marketing & Sponsorship, no 1. November (2004): 130. 

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